A blog about trying to make yourself better at making and designing websites. Also about random shit.

Share your work and learn from your community.

I was listening to Austin Kleon's episode on Hurry Slowly the other day, and it reminded me of his book called Show Your Work! which, in turn, also reminded me of the book Gather the People.

I love these books because it really shows the best parts of the Internet in my opinion: learning and collaboration. Here's a quote from Show Your Work!

Almost all of the people I look up to and try to steal from today, regardless of their profession, have built sharing into their routine. These people aren't schmoozing at cocktail parties; they're too busy for that. They're cranking away in their studios, their laboratories, or their cubicles, but instead of maintaining absolute secrecy and hoarding their work, they're open about what they're working on, and they're consistently posting bits and pieces of their work, their ideas, and what they're learning online.

This has been my experience with running Friends Talk Frontend as well. I find amazing developers and get to learn from them because they share their stuff on the Internet. Most of my guests are people that I've interacted with and looked up to on Twitter.

If you're like me, you probably don't consider your work "good enough" to share with the world—and that's completely understandable! But consider the benefits of sharing your ideas:

  1. Thinking about what you want to share forces you to learn something better. I don't have any scientific evidence for this, but my experience has been that I research much deeper and commit things to memory better when presenting things to people. You tend to ask yourself if your assumptions are correct in the first place.

  2. Employers will see what you know and what you've been learning online. It's one thing to put it on your resume, but it's another to actually have shared the things that you've built and learned to other people.

  3. Ok, so nobody reads it or likes your ideas—that's totally fine! Check out The Intimidating Zero by Basecamp.

It’s so intimidating for newcomers today. Even though it’s so much easier to publish today, publishing tools keep reminding you hardly anyone’s reading. So technically easier, but emotionally more difficult.

I like that Snapchat doesn’t share follower numbers. You just do because you like to do. It’s fun to do.

Share your work on Codepen, Glitch, Github, Dev.to, your blog, or Reddit! Do it, and make sure you're open to other people's ideas as well!